The election is eight months away, but President Donald Trump is already crying foul.
Bloomberg News wrote Sunday that Trump is already working to undermine the American electoral process by attacking the Democratic presidential primary.
“Indeed, his campaign, with the full support of the Republican Party, is already waging a vigorous crusade to destroy his opposition. No, it’s not Joe Biden, who inspired Trump’s shakedown of Ukraine. Trump’s gunning for bigger game: democracy itself,” wrote Francis Wilkinson for Bloomberg.
Granted, the Iowa Caucus was a disaster, and caucus systems are inherently flawed, but to say that there is somehow voter fraud that impacts Trump is ridiculous.
“The Democratic Party is not prepared for this war. The news media is still struggling, and often failing, to adapt to demagogy,” she wrote. “And the electorate, at least the non-MAGA majority invested in preserving [the] rule of law, has limited tools for fighting back.”
What is under threat is possible is how Russia will continue its efforts to undermine American democracy.
Wilkinson wrote that the assault on the election would have several fronts.
“Trump’s disinformation campaign is, obviously, under way, to the extent that there is any meaningful distinction between the words ‘Trump’ and disinformation,'” she wrote. “The news media, like many Americans, have become acculturated to Trump’s lies and to the lies of his accomplices and defenders. The Washington Post keeps a running tab, now well above 16,000, of the president’s public falsehoods. Does anyone notice anymore?”
After what Russia did in 2016, Americans already have weakened trust in the elections. As the election draws near, Trump will keep up the rhetoric about conspiracy theories.
“In the words of one Trump campaign official, the GOP will be playing ‘offense’ on Election Day,” Wilkinson quoted. “This will entail something more than Trump’s efforts in 2016. Then, Trump closed out his campaign with sinister threats about voter fraud. In an October 2016 rally in Pennsylvania, he told his MAGA followers: ‘So important that you watch other communities because we don’t want this election stolen from us.'”
“And when I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about,” Trump continued. “Right? You know what I’m talking about.”
Trump voters were on hand to complain about every Spanish-speaking person or person of color who dared to vote.
In 2020, the election will be the first in decades where the Republican Party won’t be forced by a court order to claim “ballot security” to scare voters of color.
“The Democratic National Committee had sued to halt the intimidation after the GOP had deployed off-duty police officers wearing ‘National Ballot Security Task Force’ armbands to New Jersey polling stations. Some of these poll watchers were visibly armed,” she wrote.
She went on to cite a Trump official who was caught last year saying that they’re planning to launch full conspiracies around “voter fraud.”
“We’ve got a guy that’s committed to this, who is able to short-circuit media attention on stuff,” said Trump campaign senior counsel Justin Clark last November to a meeting of the Republican National Lawyers Association in Madison, Wisconsin. “Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.”
“The ‘program’ relies on Trump’s talent for ‘raising the profile of issues that come up,’ as Clark put it,” she continued. “If lawyerly euphemism is not your native tongue, here’s a translation: Trump will foment hysteria about voter fraud — ‘the issues that come up’ — to justify GOP suppression tactics, AKA the ‘program,'”
It’s only going to get worse.